ASEAN turns 41 on August 8
by A. Lumaque
Roxas City (7 August) -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will mark its 41st anniversary on August 8 this year.
ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original member- countries namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Presently, the association is composed of ten member-nations with the inclusion of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
The 41st ASEAN founding anniversary has the theme "Philippines and ASEAN Community Building."
Traditionally, ASEAN members prepare a series of festivities and activities to introduce and showcase the region's rich and unique culture, traditions and cuisine, the latest economic climate of ASEAN and the significance of the group's relations with many nations in commemoration of its anniversary.
A flag-raising as well as display of ASEAN flags along Roxas Boulevard and a traditional "breaking of bread" among Department of Foreign Affairs and other concerned officials are among the country's activities lined up for the ASEAN founding anniversary commemoration.
The ASEAN website noted that the ASEAN region has a population of about 560 million, a total area of 4.5 million square kilometers, a combined gross domestic product of almost US$ 1,100 billion, and a total trade of about US$ 1,400 billion as of 2006. (PIA) [top]